A 39-year-old Indian man on his honeymoon caught using
binoculars and taking photos while driving was just one of
two Indian honeymooners stopped for alleged dangerous driving
over the weekend, police say.
Head of Cromwell police, Sergeant Simon Paget, said
complaints about the driving of tourists were common and an
ongoing problem in the area while Queenstown police also
reported an increasing trend.
Sgt Paget said his staff dealt with an almost continual
stream of such incidents.
The Indian man using binoculars and taking photos was stopped
between Tarras and Bendigo at 12.45pm on Sunday and fined
The other Indian honeymooner, a 29-year old man, was stopped
about the same time after three different calls to police
about his driving in that same area.
He was charged with dangerous driving, forbidden to drive and
is due to appear in court on Monday.
Queenstown Senior Constable Chris Blackford said complaints
were received of the 29-year old man driving over the centre
line and of his ''general bad, bad, bad driving''.
Sgt Paget said some of the driving behaviour of tourists
witnessed by police was incredibly dangerous and put the rest
of the driving public at risk.
''The problem is, we are tied to legislation. If we charge
them with careless driving we can't arrest or detain them
[and can only fine them] and often they are flying out of the
country the next day.
''It's absolutely more tourists than locals. Locals still do
it [drive dangerously] but the majority are foreign tourists
... [their] driving skills are really quite lacking, they've
never driven on roads like we have; it's quite a challenging
He said the number of such complaints had stimulated an
initiative between police and car rental companies.
When the driving of a tourist was considered to be a serious
risk, police would contact the rental car companies and get
the rental contract cancelled.
Queenstown Senior Sergeant John Fookes said figures show in
recent months the Queenstown police station received more
calls from the public over ''poor and dangerous driving''.
''More often or not they involve rental cars; rental cars
driven by overseas drivers.''
He said reports of negligent foreign drivers had increased
over the past 12 months around the Queenstown Lakes area and
police encouraged these call-ins from the general public as
it helped to know where and when these drivers were on the
Sgt Paget also encouraged people to report any dangerous
driving by cellphone via *555.
He also said any fine notices incurred by tourists could be
posted to an overseas address.
Earlier on Sunday morning police received a call from a
member of the public about a group driving dangerously at the
Queenstown Airport. On Saturday, a 27-year-old Canadian man
was dealt with by police after complaints about his alleged
dangerous driving near Queenstown. He was issued with an